Quite an adventure
Published/Last edited or updated: 2nd June, 2018
Up for a little Udomxai adventure? Chom Ong Cave is located 44 km west of Udomxai, about half of that journey off-road. The remote cave is rarely visited, and that alone may make it worthwhile for some travellers.
“The typical passage dimension is 20-25 m width and 20-30 metres-height. There are two overlaying passages, a river and a fossil passage, which are linked at one huge hall with 100 metres-length, 30 metres-width and ceiling heights of 30-50 metres.”
The easiest way to get to Chom Ong is to arrange private transport or a tour through the Tourism Office. However, for experienced motorbike riders, reaching the cave can be done independently.
Pack water, snacks, flashlight and wear decent shoes. Set out by 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning in order to be able return to Udomxai by nightfall. Head northwest on Route 13 (the road to Luang Nam Tha) for 24 km until the village of Ban Nambotakay (easy to know it is coming up as it is after Ban Lak 22/“Village km 22”). Look for the turnoff on the lefthand side, there should be a sign. Ensure you have enough petrol for the over 40 km roundtrip journey to the cave.
The next 18 km is challenging. The unpaved road undulates with some seriously steep sections and rough terrain, the kind that makes bones and teeth chatter. Locals make it look easy but we don’t recommend novices try this. We also don’t recommend using an automatic motorbike as they are designed for city driving and tend not to be reliable when worked this hard. This road is very difficult during rainy season.
A sore backside is the punishment but the reward is a scenic journey through pretty countryside, some high spots delivering a view to the rolling mountains. You’ll also pass through two rural ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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